Your Puppy: 2 Years Old
Mental and Physical Development: Adult Dog Diet
Puppies thrive on high-protein diets because these diets help them grow. However, some veterinarians and nutritionists recommend not giving your dog as much protein once they're around two years old.
Your dog should be getting complete balanced nutrition during every stage of their life. If you have a large breed dog, you may want to start giving them glucosamine and chondroitin, which work together to improve the health of joints and cartilage. Consider adding some extra-virgin olive oil, a source of omega-3 fatty acids, to their meal as well.
Pets, like people, are what they eat. Starting your dog on a healthful diet sooner rather than later means they will stay healthy well into their golden years. As always, consult with your vet before making any changes to your dog's diet.
Health and Veterinary Care: At-Home Health Check
Around your dog's second birthday is a great time to give them an at-home health check. Contact your veterinarian if you answer "yes" to any of these questions.
- Weight: Significant gain or loss?
- Gums: Pale, bluish, bright red or splotched? Swollen, bleeding, sores or growths?
- Teeth: Loose, in pain or dirty? Bad breath?
- Nose: Thick or colored discharge? Pinched nostrils? Cracked skin?
- Eyes: Tears, thick discharge, dull surface, swollen, reddened or unequal pupils? Squinting or pawing at the eyes?
- Ears: Head shaking or tilting, ear scratching or pain? Bad smell, reddened, abundant debris or scabby ear tips?
- Feet: Split nails, cut pads or swollen or misaligned toes?
- Skin: Parasites, hair loss, sores, scabs, reddened, greasy patches, bad odor, lumps or itching?
- Abdomen: Enlarged?
- Nipples: Lumps, discharge or pain?
- Body: Lumps? Asymmetrical bones or muscles?
- Anal and genital regions: Swelling, discharge, redness, scooting or excessive licking?
- Urine: Excessive, pale, cloudy or blood-tinged?
- Stool: Bloody, blackened, grayish or wormy?
- Behavior: Restless, weak, dizzy, confused, trembling, hiding, vomiting, gagging, coughing, limping or breathing rapidly while resting?
- Drinking or eating: Significantly changed?
- Temperature: Above 103 degrees or below 98 degrees?
Check out the PetVet Disease and Condition Finder and put in your dog's symptoms to get suggestions on what may be wrong.
Training: Correcting Behavioral Issues
Behavioral issues in dogs can be difficult to correct at any age, but the older the dog is the harder it can be to change bad behavior. It may take a lot of time and patience, but with the right techniques your dog can learn how to properly behave.
If your dog is behaving badly, ignore that specific behavior and try to redirect your dog's attention. For example: If your dog is chewing on the furniture, take them out for a walk, give them a chew toy and lavish attention on them when they are engaging in good behavior.
Place your dog in a professional group obedience training class where you and your dog can work together. In these classes, your dog will learn socialization skills, and you will learn how to effectively communicate with your dog.